Euro 2012: England didn’t deserve to win, insists Zlatan Ibrahimović

Zlatan Ibrahimović claims Sweden were the better side against England after their Euro 2012 hopes were ended on Friday

zlatan ibrahimovic
Zlatan Ibrahimovic claims Sweden were the better side against England Photo: L Ochoa, via Wikimedia

zlatan ibrahimovic

Zlatan Ibrahimović has insisted Sweden were the better side against England despite suffering a 3-2 loss to Roy Hodgson’s men on Friday.

Sweden defender Olof Mellberg scored a quick-fire double to overturn England’s first-half lead, but for the second successive game, Erik Hamren’s side capitulated when in a winning position, with goals from Theo Walcott and Danny Welbeck helping England claim three points.

It was a defeat which ended Sweden’s chances of reaching the last eight, but Ibrahimović felt Hodgson’s side were fortunate to secure a victory.

“I think we were the better team against England. I really do,” said Ibrahimović. “We should be proud of ourselves because we played a good game. We played the opposite way to the first one.

“We showed more courage and were much better in dead-ball situations. We played just the way we wanted to play.

“But in both the games we have played, we were in the lead, but after 60 minutes, we lost it all.

“Why did we lose both games? I don’t know. That is something we need to analyse and see what we need to do better, or in a different way.”

Sunderland midfielder Sebastian Larsson backed up the Sweden captain’s claims, and described Walcott’s equaliser as a lucky strike.

“We did not play a good first match [against Ukrain]e even if we should have taken points. Against England, it feels like we were the best team, but it isn’t always the best team that wins,” said Larsson.

“It is about taking points, and we didn’t do that.

“It doesn’t really matter now we are out of the tournament, but we were definitely better than England, but they are leaving with the points, so what can you say?

“Their equaliser [from Walcott] happens one time in a thousand. It was a shot I should have covered and it hit me and deflected past the goalkeeper.

“With the last goal [from Welbeck] it’s one player against four of ours, like with the goals against Ukraine, so it is things like that which decide the outcome. We have not done well enough.”

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